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The Association for Latin Teaching

Newsletter 3: March 2003



From David Parsons, Association for Latin Teaching


Greeting! This month: Refresher Day notes - Belinda Dennis - new search engine - more news in Latin - the war and other Classical news - where visitors came from.


Refresher Day


They tell me that the Refresher Day in Leeds went very well, with 70 people and good sessions. I had to miss it myself, as I had the chance of the last two tickets for Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand in Cardiff (and mind-blowing it was, too). If you would like the option group notes of a session you missed in Leeds, you might find them by visiting www.arlt.co.uk and clicking on the appropriate item in the 'New in the past month' box on the right hand side.


Belinda Dennis


You will also see in that box the sad news of the death of Belinda Dennis, just a month ago. A couple of tributes are on the web site. If you feel there is something you would like to add from your own knowledge of Belinda, please email it to me and I will add it to the site.


New search engine


Talking of the arlt web site reminds me that you can now use a search engine to search the site for any word or name you wish. My son Charlie, whose company Wham Ltd hosts the web site, devised it himself for us, and would value feedback. See his own business site at www.wham-e.com to decide if you would like his professional help in setting up and developing a Classics Department site for your school. End of plug!


More news in Latin


Since the last newsletter I have discovered a second radio station offering the news in Latin. This is Radio Bremen, who produce a bulletin only once a month, as opposed to Radio Finland's weekly broadcast. I am impressed by how easy they make it to see the words on the screen while you listen to the broadcast. I thought you might like to see a sample, on anti-war protests, under the headline "Bellum ubique recusatur":


Ubique terrarum miliones hominum protestati sunt se bellum Iraquianum nequaquam esse probaturos. Nullis umquam demonstrationibus plures homines interfuerunt, postquam bellum Vietnamiense compositum est. Gerhard Schröder cancellarius Germaniae denuo negavit se iustam belli Iraquiani causam videre, dum pace servata Saddam Hussein dearmari posset. Interea Consilium Securitatis Unitarum Nationum constituit, ut armorum Iraquianorum inspectoribus plus temporis concederetur. Once again, the link to this is on the www.arlt.co.uk web site, at present in the 'New in the past month' box.


The war and other Classical news


Now the war has begun, and I expect your emotions are as mixed as mine, especially as the TV churns out more and more images of violent destruction, while here the sun shines on cheerful daffodils, forsythia and cherry-plum blossom. Both war and Spring are familiar enough themes in ancient literature, and the prospect of war has led some commentators to look for wisdom to the ancient world. Under the title "Cassandra speaks", for instance, Nicholas D. Kristof draws three lessons for Bush from the Iliad in a piece in the New York Times of 18 March. This can be accessed from the ARLT site, by clicking on "Classical world in the news" in the 'New in the past month' box, which will take you to a page full of classical references in the papers that I have found interesting. There is also a link to this page from an item near the bottom of the Home Page.


Other news items I have collected on the "news" page recently concern the ivory face of Apollo from a chryselephantine statue ascribed to Pheidias (I had to be careful to avoid slander while explaining how it got to London), a piece from the British Psychological Society conference telling of the harm done to pupils by too much testing, the Latin signs in the Newcastle Metro, and a long review article on Cleopatra by Mary Beard in the Guardian. My aim in presenting these is to provide material for a classroom pin-board on "The Classics in Today's World" or somesuch title. Your feedback on this idea will be welcome.


Where visitors came from


Visitors to the ARLT website during the first three weeks of March were registered in, and so probably came from, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Canada, USA, Spain, Brazil, Singapore, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Switzerland, Greece, Japan, Sweden, Germany, South Korea, and of course the United Kingdom.


Chat and Farewell


Once again, may I remind you about the chat room. Visit the web site 7 pm GMT Mondays, click on 'Chat' and then on the number (or the word 'none') under 'Chatters' and you're there. While on line, do contribute to the Bulletin Board, either questions or answers or observations. Perhaps I shall see you at the Classical Association Annual Meeting in Warwick University next month. When the next newsletter is due, Easter will have come and gone, and I shall be enjoying a glass of wine again! Meanwhile I raise a virtual glass to peace and new life for Iraq and for the world. Cheers!


David